There are a number of ways that social media commentators, writers and bloggers can encourage people to share their online content. Often all it takes is a title that includes the words “Social Media”, “Recruitment” and some random number, as in “5 Reasons to…” or “10 Best Examples of…” or “7 Biggest Mistakes in…” etc. Next thing the article has been skim read and shared to such a ferociously viral extent that the Tweet button or Facebook Like button to the side of the article is ticking upwards like milliseconds on a stopwatch.
This particular example has done the rounds more than most in recent weeks and has really caught the attention of the recruitment and job seeking communities alike. At the time of writing the piece has been Tweeted over 7000 times and shared on Linked In over 4000 times. Fabulous news for Reppler, a business that helps job seekers or career builders manage their online image across social networks, who’s initial investment surveying just 300 “hiring professionals” for this infographic has proved to be smart money indeed, for all the free advertising their work has engendered.
I’m surprised also at the amount of people expressing concern or dismay at the fact that 91% of those surveyed admitted to using social media to screen candidates. This hand-wringing worthiness no longer has any place in this digital information age. Surely everyone now understands that what they put out there into the interweb is content that will be there forever, and usually accessible to anyone wanting to view that information.
I would go as far as to say that any recruiter NOT having a quick look at the online fingerprints of their prospective placements is failing to provide their clients with a thorough enough service. It is widely accepted best practice to conduct verbal references on all placed candidates, and in some cases, for some roles, also proper to conduct further probity checks on educational qualifications, criminal checks and even drugs tests.
So why would you do all that and still decide it improper to have a quick check into someone’s publicly available online presence?
When 1 in 6 US job seekers found their jobs through social media (78% through Facebook) and increasingly compelling data being released extolling the virtues of recruiting through Linked In, it is clear that social media is an ever-growing phenomenon that simply cannot be ignored by the recruiting and employment sector.
As a job seeker you also need to be acutely aware of this, so here is my advice to you:
1. Think about what you are putting out there into the social networking sphere. If you really must post your drug-taking, binge-drinking, toilet-heaving photos then best to closely monitor your Privacy Settings.
2. If a prospective employer does decide not to offer you a position based upon not liking something they have seen on your online presence then feel glad. You have narrowly avoided working for a close-minded Luddite intent on moulding you into a corporate clone with no personality or life outside of work.
Have a good weekend everyone!